Actress Michelle Williams is urging producers not to edit her harrowing new film Blue Valentine in order to get
the movie a lower rating - because she'd prefer cinemagoers saw it as it was intended.
Officials at the Motion Picture Association of America's Classification and Rating Administration have awarded the movie a restrictive NC-17 rating because of a drunken sex scene featuring Williams and her co-star Ryan Gosling.
Producer Harvey Weinstein is challenging the movie censors' over the ban for under-17s, and an appeal hearing will take place on November 10th.
Williams said of the MPAA rating: It seems like such a condemnation. It feels like such a slap on the hand, like you've been a bad kid or something.
When the Weinstein Co. won an R rating for Blue Valentine last week after objecting to its original NC-17, it was a signal that
perhaps the industry's ratings board is easing up.
As one insider notes of the initial rating: The feeling was that they got it wrong with this one.
What the board's decision didn't do is instill any additional confidence in the NC-17 rating.
Ratings board chair Joan Graves admits moviegoers have a skewed perception of the NC-17 rating.
I do regret that it's treated as the pariah of the ratings system, she says. All we need is one popular NC-17 rating to take that scent away.
The board also contends with charges that it has a double standard when it comes to violence.
Graves says the org is taking steps to correct some of those issues. For instance, the MPAA plans to revisit its stance on horror pics, which have evolved considerably from spooky frights to torture porn.
I do think the R has a very big envelope for that genre, Graves admits.
Horror-Movies.ca sent an email to the MPAA in the wake of the story about 'big envelope for R rated horror.
Here's what came back from Vice President of Corporate Communications, Elizabeth Kaltman:
Because filmmakers don't want to accept the NC-17 they are squeezing as much as they can into the R. The Ratings Board does not treat genres differently. Ratings are assigned based on the content of a particular movie and
taken on a case-by-case basis.
As far as any plans to change policy regarding horror films, we are always looking at ways to ensure the system evolves and responds to the biggest concerns of the day for parents. We have no changes in the works but are
talking to parents about what matters to them.
The MPAA has overturned the NC-17 rating for Blue Valentine. Much more box office friendly for the producers, the
The Classification and Rating Appeals Board swapped the NC-17, given in October for a scene of explicit sexual contact, for an R attributed to strong graphic sexual content, language and a beating.
No edits were made to the film to secure the rating.
The MPAA's decision came following an appeal made by Harvey Weinstein. After presenting our case to the MPAA appeal board today, they were convinced of the artistic nature of Blue Valentine and recognized that it was consistent with the
kind of movies for which the Weinstein Company is known, said a statement from Harvey Weinstein, who led the appeal with a team of attorneys.
According to chief operating officer David Glasser, Weinstein laid out a case based on clips from past R-rated films as well as on moviegoers' support for an R rating for Valentine, as registered via a Twitter campaign and an audience
survey at a recent screening.